The group stare in horror as Darius’s dust vanishes on the breeze, then stalk over to where Necromancer Bob has been forcefully landed. Strangely Zege has vanished, but they don’t notice, as Merri is trying to convince Elo not to outright murder the guy. Instead she places him under arrest, even though his back has been broken. While Merri goes on foot, Auri takes the broken dark mage in her claws, and Elo and Felix on her back, and they all head to the Watch House.
Once there, Elo has him booked, and then they manage to find an electric chair with which to heal him enough to question him, while Felix and Merri stand by, ready with dispel incantations, to stop him trying to disintegrate everyone. They activate the chair, and allow Necromancer Bob to heal, and question him, learning about much nastiness. Necromancer Bob says his fellows in the Cabal, still ensconced in Castle Dire, are trying to recreate the legendary Sword of Hextor (the ‘T’ is silent!), with additional dark magics. They are doing this, he says, so they can pass the sword to Zaradan Marr when they finally pull him from the Pit, also known as the Demonic Plane. That is also, he says, why he exists as he does; he was part of an experiment to make the perfect golem body for Marr. This has been the Cabal’s plot all along, he says – to bring back one of the most powerful and dark Necromancers in the world, and Darkhide has been helping them. Necromancer Bob doesn’t tell them what the Cabal’s plans are after that point, and isn’t much able to – instead choosing to try and disintegrate everyone and getting stabbed by Elo for his trouble.But he doesn’t have to tell them, they can guess close enough. It will be a repeat of 10 years ago, with demons coming through a portal followed by their demonic masters, to plunge the world into darkness and chaos.
They heal Necromancer Bob again, find out some magic-annulling manacles and leave him in the station’s care. This does however earn Elo a bollocking from her Captain; if she is going to insist on arresting every high-powered bad guy she finds, she needs to figure out a way of keeping them safely contained, because there is no way they can be imprisoned with regular folk. She says she will drop by the wizard’s tower and sort something out at some point. But for now they head to the Temple of Moradin to speak to Ghulkari about when they should leave.
The group turn up, and say they can leave whenever, but if Elo is really all that anxious, then perhaps late morning the next day would be a good time? They agree that would be best, and some good Dwarven brew is passed around, along with toasts to Darius. Subtly, there is a shifting in the darkness and, ever twitchy, Elo almost runs the shadow through before it can be introduced as Quentin Goldenrose, an elven tracker in Ghulkari’s employ, who – in having difficulty accessing the temple via conventional means – contrived to make his own entrance through a second story window.
Since the plan for the next day is set, the group split up and take separate routes back to 23 Acacia Ave to discuss the options for a powered-person prison; Elo and Merri go via the Wizard’s Tower, and Felix goes with Auri to the Temple of Glittergold.
While in the Temple of Glittergold, Felix meets up with Dwina, the Plane Maker. She tells Felix that there is a place already similar to what he describes. It is called Carcery, and is a place where the souls of the damned can be taken and kept for eternity, where they will labour under their sins. She takes him there to show him what it is like, and he is shocked.
Meanwhile, Elo and Merri have found a planar wizard of their own, Thazar III, who tells them that he can make them a plane in the manner they desire, but to do so, he will need a diamond of a certain worth. He also suggests that the jail he wishes to build might also be able to help the inmates realize their sins and strive to do better. At this point, Felix and Dwina show up to join the discussion. Felix tells Elo about the plane of Carcery that Dwina showed him. They have a long, weighty discussion about the nature of good, evil and redemption, and Elo ultimately decides that it’s not a good idea. Carcery – for all its prospective effectiveness at keeping inmates secured under their self-inflicted burdens – still sounds like a truly terrible place, and she cannot stand the thought of sending anyone there, no matter how terrible they are, or how heinous their crimes may have been.
Felix then asks what are they then to do? Thazar illuminates about his diamond prison, but says that it would only be able to hold a few. If he had more diamonds or a more powerful item, it could hold more. At this, Felix blurts out about the Moonstone. Dwina and Frenchy make a judicious exit, as Elo says she was given strict instructions to never reveal the location of the stones to anyone. She concedes they are powerful, which is why they must not fall into the wrong hands. Thazar says that with a moonstone he would be able to make the prison much larger, and it would have a greater effect. Elo is still reluctant, and asks to know a bit more about the wizard with which she is placing her trust, at which Thazar reveals himself to be the son of a celestial. His skin glows and a nimbus, like wings, extends from his back. Elo is shocked, and a bit ashamed, especially as Thazar then gives her a small dressing down in regards to her comments on wanting to ‘fix’ the world, and reminding her that too many tyrants started with that way of thinking. Chastened, Elo then tells him that the moonstone has been moved, and is right here in the Wizard’s Tower. He says he will be in conversation with the Watch, and promises to have the prison made within the month.
With that the group leave, collecting Quentin on the way back to 23 Acacia Ave, and offering him a bed for the night. Once there, Felix and Quentin turn in almost immediately, while Elo writes a load of missives to the Watch and the Hall, then she and Merri raise a glass or ten to Darrius before turning in themselves to prepare for the next day’s journey to the North.